Assessment

syllabus_assessment

Be a sure you have read and understood the 'Policies' page for vital information on attendance, on-time submissions etc.

  • Details and deadlines for assessed work are tabulated below.
  • These details should be read in conjunction with assignment info on the 'Timetable' page.
  • Collaboration:
    • You are encouraged work together in all aspects of this class.
    • Although your are encouraged to discuss quiz questions etc. with your colleagues, you must complete and submit your own final answers individually. (Duplicate quizzes are easily detected in this IT age and will be dealt with severely.)

Grading Scheme

Letter Low
Border
Middle
A+ 96.7% 98.5%
A 93.3% 95.0%
A- 90.0% 91.7%
B+ 86.7% 88.4%
B 83.3% 85.0%
B- 80.0% 81.7%
C+ 76.7% 78.4%
C 73.3% 75.0%
C- 70.0% 71.7%
D+ 66.7% 68.4%
D 63.3% 65.0%
D- 60.0% 61.7%
F 0% 55.5%

Table of Assignments

?%

Extra Credit

  • Opportunities for extra credit may arise as the class progresses. Some opportunities may be announced but others will remain secret. I will, however, give you this clue: that my greatest inspiration for giving out extra credit is exemplary class citizenship.

17%

Class Participation

  • Main consideration: Did you help enrich the class experience for everyone?
  • There are two main ways to contribute - the best students will exemplify both:
    • Join the discussion in class:
      • Ask 'silly' questions and speak up when you don't understand.
      • Say what you think and (more importantly) why you think it.
      • Question and challenge class readings, your colleagues, and your professor.
    • Participate in online discussions using the class Topics set up in Sakai@UD Forums:
      • Post brief questions or comments on assigned readings, or respond to someone else's post.
      • Only contributions posted before the start of the corresponding class will count.
  • Mere attendance does not help your grade.

5%

Quiz Completion Credit

  • You get Quiz Completion Credit for every quiz you complete and fully submit by the deadline with at least a D-.
  • Though low scoring quizzes are dropped for calculation of overall quiz scores in this class, no quizzes are dropped in assessing Quiz Completion Credit.
  • So:
    • Quiz Completion Credit for all quizzes = 100% = a super-dooper A+. (That will boost your overall grade.)
    • Quiz Completion Credit for half the quizzes = 50% = F. (That can pull your overall grade down.)

Sep 12

1:45pm

10%

In Class Group Project 1:
The Bad Argument Assignment
Lower grade of the two Bad Argument Assignments is dropped

  • You know you can make them but can you spot them?
    • Identify a very bad and very short written argument on the internet. (Newspaper editorials, news items, and political blogs are excellent sources).
    • Joke arguments are fine but...
      • DO NOT use an argument that is presented and discussed as an example of a bad argument (such as those in this Book of Bad Arguments).
      • DO NOT target an argument for which the main problem is circularity / begging the question.
    • Give the URL to the original source.
    • Cut and paste the relevant text - ONLY the relevant text.
    • Set out the essential form of the argument, stripped of any rhetoric and padding. You know... list assumptions (don't forget hidden assumptions), logical moves, conclusion(s).
    • Explain, VERY concisely, why it is a bad argument.
    • Limit of 500 words for the whole assignment (including pasted text, your set out of the essence, and your critique).
  • Examples:
  • Some points to consider
    • Your best target will be a simple and clearly stated argument.
    • Make sure it's acutally an argument. (Don't be seduced by mere opinion or heaps of points without logical structure.)
    • Make sure it's really, utterly, indisputably bad. Not all mistakes are stupid mistakes - I'm looking for mindblowingly idiotic, the worse the better.
  • Submit via Sakai@UD.

 

Group Project Instructions

  • In-Class Group Assignment
    • The assignment is completed in class, working with your group.
    • Submit in class via Sakai@UD, or by handing in a legible paper version.
    • One submission per group is acceptable. The submitted document should state the group number and the names of all authors who actually contributed.
    • It is the responsiblity of every group member to ensure that all participants are credited and that the submission goes through (make sure you see the confirmation page).
    • You are welcome to hail me if you have any questions during class.
  • If you are not in class, you will need to make an on-time, individual submission via Sakai@UD or by email.
  • Before class
    • Please think about how to make an effective contribution to a group project.
    • Review the relevant instructions for the assignment on the assessment page.
    • Refresh your memory of relevant sources.
    • Do any additional background research that might help with the project.
    • Come prepared to contribute.
  • Peer evaluations
    • Please take note of each group member's contribution and be ready to submit an online peer evaluation as requested.

Sep 22

11:55pm

17%

Quiz 1

  • Complete on Sakai@UD.
    • Questions may cover anything covered in class or in the assigned readings so far.
    • Some questions may require independent research.
  • Get started on quizes as soon as they are available - they are challenging and will take longer than you think.
  • Your two lowest quiz scores will be dropped in calculating your overall quiz score.
  • No quizzes will be dropped in awarding quiz participation credit.
  • No makeup quizzes:
    • Deadlines are stricktly enforced to make sure you do not miss them.
    • To avoid disaster, make sure you have at least an initial go at completing each quiz as soon as it is available - just do not click submit until you are sure you don't want to go back and change any answers. (If you never click submit it will not matter - you quiz will be auto-submitted after the deadline.)
  • Raw quiz scores will be curved. Please note the strategic implications of this:
    • If a group collaboration is mutually helpful, all members benefit.
    • If you help somone without any useful help in return then their higher score will make the curve tougher for you.

Oct 7

11:55pm

17%

Quiz 2

  • Complete on Sakai@UD.
    • Questions may cover anything covered in class or in the assigned readings so far.
    • Some questions may require independent research.
  • Get started on quizes as soon as they are available - they are challenging and will take longer than you think.
  • Your two lowest quiz scores will be dropped in calculating your overall quiz score.
  • No quizzes will be dropped in awarding quiz participation credit.
  • No makeup quizzes:
    • Deadlines are stricktly enforced to make sure you do not miss them.
    • To avoid disaster, make sure you have at least an initial go at completing each quiz as soon as it is available - just do not click submit until you are sure you don't want to go back and change any answers. (If you never click submit it will not matter - you quiz will be auto-submitted after the deadline.)
  • Raw quiz scores will be curved. Please note the strategic implications of this:
    • If a group collaboration is mutually helpful, all members benefit.
    • If you help somone without any useful help in return then their higher score will make the curve tougher for you.

Oct 22

11:55pm

17%

Quiz 3

  • Complete on Sakai@UD.
    • Questions may cover anything covered in class or in the assigned readings so far.
    • Some questions may require independent research.
  • Get started on quizes as soon as they are available - they are challenging and will take longer than you think.
  • Your two lowest quiz scores will be dropped in calculating your overall quiz score.
  • No quizzes will be dropped in awarding quiz participation credit.
  • No makeup quizzes:
    • Deadlines are stricktly enforced to make sure you do not miss them.
    • To avoid disaster, make sure you have at least an initial go at completing each quiz as soon as it is available - just do not click submit until you are sure you don't want to go back and change any answers. (If you never click submit it will not matter - you quiz will be auto-submitted after the deadline.)
  • Raw quiz scores will be curved. Please note the strategic implications of this:
    • If a group collaboration is mutually helpful, all members benefit.
    • If you help somone without any useful help in return then their higher score will make the curve tougher for you.

Nov 3

11:55pm

17%

Quiz 4

  • Complete on Sakai@UD.
    • Questions may cover anything covered in class or in the assigned readings so far.
    • Some questions may require independent research.
  • Get started on quizes as soon as they are available - they are challenging and will take longer than you think.
  • Your two lowest quiz scores will be dropped in calculating your overall quiz score.
  • No quizzes will be dropped in awarding quiz participation credit.
  • No makeup quizzes:
    • Deadlines are stricktly enforced to make sure you do not miss them.
    • To avoid disaster, make sure you have at least an initial go at completing each quiz as soon as it is available - just do not click submit until you are sure you don't want to go back and change any answers. (If you never click submit it will not matter - you quiz will be auto-submitted after the deadline.)
  • Raw quiz scores will be curved. Please note the strategic implications of this:
    • If a group collaboration is mutually helpful, all members benefit.
    • If you help somone without any useful help in return then their higher score will make the curve tougher for you.

Nov 17

11:55pm

17%

Quiz 5

  • Complete on Sakai@UD.
    • Questions may cover anything covered in class or in the assigned readings so far.
    • Some questions may require independent research.
  • Get started on quizes as soon as they are available - they are challenging and will take longer than you think.
  • Your two lowest quiz scores will be dropped in calculating your overall quiz score.
  • No quizzes will be dropped in awarding quiz participation credit.
  • No makeup quizzes:
    • Deadlines are stricktly enforced to make sure you do not miss them.
    • To avoid disaster, make sure you have at least an initial go at completing each quiz as soon as it is available - just do not click submit until you are sure you don't want to go back and change any answers. (If you never click submit it will not matter - you quiz will be auto-submitted after the deadline.)
  • Raw quiz scores will be curved. Please note the strategic implications of this:
    • If a group collaboration is mutually helpful, all members benefit.
    • If you help somone without any useful help in return then their higher score will make the curve tougher for you.

Dec 5

1:45pm

10%

In Class Group Project 3:
The Bad Argument Assignment - Redux
Lower grade of the two Bad Argument Assignments is dropped

  • You know you can make them but can you spot them?
    • Identify a very bad and very short written argument on the internet. (Newspaper editorials, news items, and political blogs are excellent sources).
    • Joke arguments are fine but...
      • DO NOT use an argument that is presented and discussed as an example of a bad argument (such as those in this Book of Bad Arguments).
      • DO NOT target an argument for which the main problem is circularity / begging the question.
    • Give the URL to the original source.
    • Cut and paste the relevant text - ONLY the relevant text.
    • Set out the essential form of the argument, stripped of any rhetoric and padding. You know... list assumptions (don't forget hidden assumptions), logical moves, conclusion(s).
    • Explain, VERY concisely, why it is a bad argument.
    • Limit of 500 words for the whole assignment (including pasted text, your set out of the essence, and your critique).
  • Examples:
  • Some points to consider
    • Your best target will be a simple and clearly stated argument.
    • Make sure it's acutally an argument. (Don't be seduced by mere opinion or heaps of points without logical structure.)
    • Make sure it's really, utterly, indisputably bad. Not all mistakes are stupid mistakes - I'm looking for mindblowingly idiotic, the worse the better.
  • Submit via Sakai@UD.

 

Group Project Instructions

  • In-Class Group Assignment
    • The assignment is completed in class, working with your group.
    • Submit in class via Sakai@UD, or by handing in a legible paper version.
    • One submission per group is acceptable. The submitted document should state the group number and the names of all authors who actually contributed.
    • It is the responsiblity of every group member to ensure that all participants are credited and that the submission goes through (make sure you see the confirmation page).
    • You are welcome to hail me if you have any questions during class.
  • If you are not in class, you will need to make an on-time, individual submission via Sakai@UD or by email.
  • Before class
    • Please think about how to make an effective contribution to a group project.
    • Review the relevant instructions for the assignment on the assessment page.
    • Refresh your memory of relevant sources.
    • Do any additional background research that might help with the project.
    • Come prepared to contribute.
  • Peer evaluations
    • Please take note of each group member's contribution and be ready to submit an online peer evaluation as requested.

Dec 10

11:55pm

17%

Quiz 6

  • Complete on Sakai@UD.
    • Questions may cover anything covered in class or in the assigned readings so far.
    • Some questions may require independent research.
  • Get started on quizes as soon as they are available - they are challenging and will take longer than you think.
  • Your two lowest quiz scores will be dropped in calculating your overall quiz score.
  • No quizzes will be dropped in awarding quiz participation credit.
  • No makeup quizzes:
    • Deadlines are stricktly enforced to make sure you do not miss them.
    • To avoid disaster, make sure you have at least an initial go at completing each quiz as soon as it is available - just do not click submit until you are sure you don't want to go back and change any answers. (If you never click submit it will not matter - you quiz will be auto-submitted after the deadline.)
  • Raw quiz scores will be curved. Please note the strategic implications of this:
    • If a group collaboration is mutually helpful, all members benefit.
    • If you help somone without any useful help in return then their higher score will make the curve tougher for you.